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Home & Garden

30 of the Best Sustainable and Eco-Friendly Alternatives for the Home

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2020 is set to be the most sustainable year in history, with more and more people shunning traditional environmentally unfriendly items, especially in and around the home, for more holistic and sustainable items.

This list of eco friendly alternatives for everyday household products offers all the information and guidance on how best to transform homes into environmentally friendly havens fit to tackle the global waste problems.

Bamboo Toothbrushes

eco friendly alternatives

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An estimated 50 million pounds of plastic waste is produced by lost or disregarded toothbrushes each year.

The plastic commonly used in most toothbrushes is not biodegradable, meaning this waste is left to sit in landfills and the environment causing untold damage to ecosystems and adversely impacting the global health of the planet.

Try swapping out those harmful plastic toothbrushes with friendly alternatives such as bamboo brushes to help solve these eco-issues and avoid adding yet more plastic waste into the environment.


Remove plastic wrapping

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Single-use plastic such as plastic kitchen wrap has an astonishing impact on the environment, leaving behind vast sums of plastic and micro-plastic waste.

Try Replacing everyday harmful kitchen plastic wraps with alternatives such as beeswax wrap, recycled and reusable lids and pockets or wax-coated fabric food wraps to improve the waste problem.


See: This Stunning Luxury Hotel Is Offering a Travel Experience With an Environmentally Friendly Conscience


Bags for life

Single-use plastic shopping bags contribute an estimated 903,000 tonnes of waste each year.

When it comes to those weekly and monthly trips to the shops avoid using those single-use plastic carrier bags provided at the supermarkets, instead come prepared with your own bags for life to prevent more avoidable plastic waste from being added to the environment.


No more plastic food bags

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Wrapping lose food such as fruit and veg in plastic or using single-use plastics at supermarkets are an unnecessary use of harmful plastic bags.

These plastic bags add vast volumes of avoidable waste into local and national environments, contributing enormous damage to precious ecosystems and animal habitats.

To help, replace single-use plastic bags with reusable fabric food bags.


Glass containers

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When storing dried or fresh food at home, embrace glass containers instead of plastic containers.

Glass alternatives offer longer-lasting freshness for its contents and will also not degrade as quickly as plastic alternatives. Opt for a recycled glass container to improve your kitchen sustainability and eco-friendliness.

However, do not go out and throwaway all that plastic/reusable container, if it includes a recyclable symbol make sure it is put to good use.


See: The Best Eco-Friendly Shops the UK Has to Offer


Shop local

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Instead of doing those daily or weekly grocery shopping trips at large supermarkets, which tend to be filled with mass-produced food options, shop local.

Visit local bakeries, fishmongers, butchers, greengrocers and other shops selling locally produced and sourced produce. By keeping it local, it helps cut down on plastic packaging – used for keeping items fresh, and food waste produced by the larger supermarkets – and food waste mountains.


See: Sainsbury’s Pledges to Invest £1 Billion Towards Reducing Global Warming by 2040


Reusable coffee mugs

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In the UK alone, an estimated 7 million disposable coffee/tea or water cups are used every day, which equates to over 2.5 billion each year.

Most of these cups are not recyclable due to their internal plastic coating, contributing an enormous amount of damage to the environment.

Instead of adding to the eye-opening waste problem, invest in a reusable takeaway cup, which can be carried with you everywhere, or find coffee shops who offer biodegradable organic or plant based cups.


Swap dishwasher pods with detergent

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When it comes to washing the dishes, tablets and pods are typically what everyone uses to make sure everything is crisp and clean.

That convenience, however, impacts the environment on a micro-level. The tablets and pods contain micro-plastic and harmful chemicals, which find their way into water systems.

These plastics and chemicals not only affect the environment they can also impact peoples health and skin care.

To avoid this human and environmental problem use eco-safe dishwashing powder detergent instead.


Compostable dish scrubbers

eco friendly alternatives

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If a dishwasher is not an option for keeping kitchen accessories clean, make sure dish scrubbers are made from all-natural materials such as wool or bamboo.

These eco-scrubbers are the perfect alternative for disposable plastic sponges or scrubbing brushes.


Responsible clothing buying

eco friendly alternatives

Lucy & Yak

The age of fast-fashion is drawing to a close, the era of eco-friendly clothing has arrived.

More and more people are now concentrating on spending their money on a smaller volume of higher quality, ethically produced, sustainabily made clothing than cheaper, lower-quality, and environmentally un-friendly alternatives.

Large retailers such as H&M, Next, ASOS, Gap, Nike, Adidas, Zara and a host of others all offer ethically and sustainably made clothing ranges.


Ditch chemical cleaning products

eco friendly alternatives

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The vast majority of everyday domestic cleaning products contain harmful corrosive chemicals which can impact the environment and the health of people.

These harmful cleaning products can seep into clothing, home furnishings, accessories, and cause skin and health damage. They can find their way into the environment through water sources, potentially killing animals and plants.

Embrace eco friendly alternatives such as biodegradable, plant-based cleaning fluids, which can found at most supermarkets, to guarantee low environmental impact.


Reusable toilet roll

eco friendly alternatives

Who Gives A Crap

It is a household item used universally by everyone, but toilet paper is causing huge environmental issues.

The UK alone goes through 1.3 million tonnes of tissues each year, according to research carried out by the Confederation of Paper industries, with the average British person working their way through 127 rolls each year.

To help alter these alarming numbers, brands such as “Who gives a Crap” have produced collections of 100 per cent recycled paper, bamboo or sugarcane paper rolls.


Soap instead of Shampoo bottles

eco friendly alternatives

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Soap is a staple in every home, but when it comes in a plastic bottle dispenser it is having a large impact of the environment.

Instead of pump operated soap dispensers, shampoo, conditioner or shower gel bottles, try simple, all-natural, 100 eco-friendly bars of soap.

Brands such as the Body Shop and Lush offer an abundance of sustainable soap options, all coming in recycled packaging.


Silicone mats

eco friendly alternatives

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Baking or tin foil is an essential item for most kitchens, it helps when baking or cooking meals, but its impact on the environment is large.

Opt for a reusable silicone mat, which might not be biodegradable but can be recycled.

Silicone mats offer an eco-friendly alternative and will also help reduce domestic grocery store household bills.


No more kitchen paper

eco friendly alternatives

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From the plastic packaging it comes in to the paper itself, paper towels, much the same as toilet paper, contribute a massive amount of environmental waste.

Instead, invest in tough, high-quality reusable cotton kitchen towels for mopping up those domestic kitchen messes and spills.


Compostablee refuse bags

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Much the same as single-use shopping bags, refuse bags cause untold environmental damage, clogging up landfills and contributing to global warming problems.

Compostable refuse bags are the best alternative when it comes to finding an eco-friendly solution to removing everyday household waste. They will biodegrade alongside the waste inside them.

They can also help encourage vegetation to grow through its compostability.


Reusable water bottles

eco friendly alternatives

Chilly’s

Even with all of the recycling points and initiatives running throughout the world, 91 per cent of single-use plastic water bottles still end up in landfills. Current global research reveals that people use close to million plastic water bottles per minute.

To help this eye-watering environmental disaster from increasing, grab a reusable water bottle. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, with some offering game changing chilling capabilities.


Recycled Cutlery, Plates, Bowls and Cups

eco friendly alternatives

Vegware

Whether it’s a family BBQ, trip to the beach, a holiday party or just a visit to the park, if you need disposable cutlery – make sure they are compostable and recyclable.

Instead of traditional plastic disposable cutlery, which is often not able to be recycled and ends up in landfills, opt for recyclable alternatives from brands such as Vegware, who use 100 compostable materials in all of their cutlery, plates, cups and bowls.


See: Here’s How You Can Get Your Amazon Package Completely Plastic-Free


Rechargeable batteries

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Traditional single-use batteries currently contributes vast volumes of damage to the environment from taking up space in landfills to allowing harmful chemicals spilling into rivers and land.

To help stop further damage cause by used batteries, invest in rechargeable alternatives, which can last longer and are cost-effective.


No more plastic straws

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The UK currently contributes 3, 570 tonnes of plastic straw waste each year. The vast majority of each straw is made using non-recyclable materials and, on-average, will take over 200 years to decompose.

The UK government has confirmed it is implementing legislation that’ll see all non-recyclable plastic straws banned, but to help the process along why not invest in bamboo, stainless or biodegradable paper straws?


LED light bulbs

eco friendly alternatives

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LED bulbs offer 80 per cent more efficient lighting options than traditional lighting.

How is this achieved? 95 per cent of the energy produced by LED lights is converted into light, with only 5 per cent wasted as heat.

LED light bulbs also use much less power than traditional bulbs, which reduces the pressure and demand on the volume of energy required from suppliers or local solar panels, which decreases greenhouse gas emissions.

LED bulbs also have dimmable and timer features, and can be synced up to smart home devices such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home.


See: Eco Friendly Gifts Every Environmental Enthusiast Will Love


Shower timer

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To help make sure showertime is as energy efficient as possible, investing in a shower timer to help monitor how long you spend washing and how much energy is used to heat the water is essential.

By installing a shower timer it’ll help guarantee homes do not waste unnecessary heat and water, while also making it has energy efficient as possible.


Tea Infusers

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If you love a breakfast, lunchtime or evening warm cup of tea, each bag used is spreading micro-plastics that have a macro environmental impact.

Each individual tea bag contains small quantities of plastic, whether it is to keep the tea leaves sealed into the bags or plastic labels.

Investing in a tea infuser will cut down on all that micro-plastic waste and help make sure your tea is 100 per cent clean.


See: Eco-Friendly Decorating Ideas to Incorporate at Home


Power outlets that turn off when not in use

eco friendly alternatives

Amazon

Households lose vast quantities of power due to outlets being left on after they have been used.

By installing energy-saving outlet adapters homes will not only cut down on unnecessary energy loss, but they will also help reduce domestic energy bills.


Organic towels

eco friendly alternatives

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The global textile industry causes 10 per cent of the planets carbon footprint, with dying and treatment of textiles responsible for 17 per cent of all industrial water pollution. Currently only 1 per cent of the worlds cotton is organic, to help alter global warming and further environmental disaster that number needs to increase.

Changing your towels from traditional cotton to organic alternatives can help reduce the impact the textile industry currently has on the global environment.


eco friendly Stationary made from recycled water bottles

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When it comes to stationery, turn your back on those standard plastic options and go for alternatives made from recycled plastics.

From notepads, pens and pencils, by embracing recyclable options homes, businesses, schools and universities can potentially cut 446,000 tonnes of harmful plastics being added to the UK’s problematic “waste mountains“.


See: Zero Waste Igloos Might Just Be the Chicest Recycling Idea


Biodegradable plant pots

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To help make sure your gardens and indoor plants are safe from plastic or rubber pollution, biodegradable alternatives could be exactly what homes are looking for.

By removing plastic pots it will also prevent more waste being added to landfills and the environment.


See: This Umbrella Will Help Make Carrying A Latte In The Rain A Whole Lot Easier


Plastic-free cotton buds

eco friendly swaps

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An estimated 1.8 billion plastic-stemmed cotton buds are used and wasted in the UK each year.

That waste winds up in landfills, waterways and oceans up and down the country. The UK government is in the process of banning the production and sale of them in the UK by the end of 2020.

Before the ban is introduced, embrace biodegradable or sustainably made paper alternatives. These eco-friendly buds have minimal impact on the environment and in some cases can be compostable.


Environmentally Friendly bedroom linen and accessories

We spend a third of our lives in bed but for most people their bedding is made using harmful materials and non-recyclable fabrics.

To turn bedrooms into environmentally friendly, cosy escapes, invest in organic bed linen and accessories from duvets to pillowcases, sheets and mattresses.

There are a host of organic bedding brands offering a number of different eco friendly alternatives to help make bedrooms as eco-friendly and sustainable as possible.


See: These Affordable Solar Homes in Sweden Produce as Much Energy as They Use


Plastic-free deodorant

eco friendly swaps

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When it comes to smelling fresh and clean, deodorant and antiperspirant sticks are essential, but they come in plastic containers.

These containers end up getting tossed into landfills when they are finished. To help prevent further environmental damage opt for safer eco friendly alternatives that come wrapped in biodegradable paper or cardboard.